Monday, May 30, 2005

Attracting Your Perfect Customers

We have captured the new trend in doing business by working with collaboration and cooperativeness, rather than competitiveness.
Written by Mari-Lyn Hudson - Managing Director for Heart@Work Business Development Group. You can reach her at 1-866-667-0166 or kindnessinc@myway.com.
There is a much easier way to develop clients, to retain employees and still make a profit it’s called collaboration and cooperativeness. With this concept you will make more money. First, you need to develop a profile of the perfect client/customer, or even perhaps the kind of employees that you desire to have. Upon working with your profiled customer you will begin to attract them. That’s right attract them!

You will still plant seeds to get new customers for your business, just like working in your garden with care and attention. When you truly give more in use value that you take from your customers, then you are adding more value to your business services and products. When your clients/customers feel they have received value from doing business with you, you will then start to attract your desired profiled customers. The ones which are perfect for you!

Here are a couple of examples:
(a) If you are offering consulting services and you are willing to spend extra time with a new client without the thought of time or money that is ticking away. When your new clients feel valued in your presence thus he/she will become a repeat customer.
(b) If you are a teacher/facilitator and you give the kind of instruction that you contribute to or give to the needs of your student’s well-being than the cost of the class, this will be reflected in whether they feel valued in your class. Thus, they will become your sales force or word of mouth customers.

If you are not conscious of what you are thinking or feeling then you will enter into the field of “competitiveness” or “free consulting.” It’s all in the kind of energy that you put out that your client will feel, whether they want to be your client/customer. If they feel pressurized in any way the new client/customer may decide not to do business with you or be a repeat customer. Many of us don’t want to be pressurized to do business with someone.

When we provide more value than thinking about the price tag we are also working cooperatively with our clients/customer. Thus, we now begin the dance of collaboration.

Once we embrace the idea of collaboration and cooperation in getting more customers/clients we are now working towards teamwork, partnerships and joint efforts, which lends itself to more repeat customers.

Who is your ideal or perfect customer?

May of us get stuck in thinking it’s everyone, that could be true, what I have found is that anyone or everyone means just that, no one. Anyone and everyone usually doesn’t show up at all, or the ones that do, are the ones we don’t want.

Here are a couple of examples:
(a) A printer told me that everyone needs printing, so anyone is his customer. I am thinking to myself, NOT. The real question is who is your perfect customer?
(b) An owner of a janitorial service company said that everyone needs cleaning. Many people need cleaning help it’s whether you want the commercial or residential target. It’s the who and what kind of customers we want to have. It was easier for this owner to come up with the kind of employees that she wanted than the customers she wanted.

Here’s what you will do to figure out what your perfect customer is:
On a sheet of paper write at the top of the page a No and Yes.

NO YES

they don’t pay on time They pay on time
they aren’t honest Honest & tell the truth
they don’t do as they say they will They do what they say they will
they don’t return their phone calls
They keep on canceling their appointments. They keep their agreements

These are just some ideas. Once you have completed the No’s first, then turn around and write in what kind of customers you do want in the YES column. As it won’t matter what targeted market you want, it’s the characteristics of your perfect customer that you want to develop. The perfect client/customer will be the same in what ever your targeted market is.

A word of caution here once you decide what you want as a perfect customer, you will now need to be that perfect person yourself. Do you pay on time, are you truthful, do you keep your appointments, do you return your calls within 48 hours?

If you aren’t, then start practicing being the person that you want your clients/customers/employees to be.





Business Development

Business Development

Branding Yourself

The New Branding Awareness – The Value Based Concept
Written by Mari-Lyn Hudson - Marketing

The new branding awareness is about when you take ownership of a commodity, a special talent, concept or product. What is it that you stand for? What you stand for is an experience that your customers feel from you.

Don’t Be Shy
When it becomes for you to take a stand, you cannot be shy about it, you need to back it up totally, no matter what other people think of you, say about you, you need to promote it and be it.

Your brand needs to be value-based, like giving extra WOW customer service and being good corporate citizens will build brand equity, the end result will lead to more sales. The good feeling experiences you provide, is what will count for the customer to buy from you. Did you know that 72% of North Americans prefer to buy form value-based companies?

Developing your brand starts with you, from the inside out.
The first step in branding you is learning to be who you are and if you don’t like who you are then you need change your attitude. If you are losing customers and you don’t know why, ask them. You may discover some great feedback.

What’s your attitude like?
Do you go to work with it’s an exciting new day! Do you rejoice in it and give thanks for your new day? Or do you start the day with oh, it’s Monday or it’s just another crummy day. Your attitude or the stand that you take in how you begin the day makes a difference. If people see that you are smiling, friendly and helpful they will pick up on that energy and feel good about you and even perhaps themselves.

A true story of an Actionable act of Branding with a co-worker..
A girlfriend of mine,(we’ll call her Connie) was getting upset the other day, saying some people just don’t get it. What she was talking about was the lack of compassion people have for each other, whether it was her boss or people in general. Connie said, “She smiles at people in the grocery store, makes idle chit chat when standing in line, and sometimes people just don’t respond.” A few of us girls discussed this with her, and we all agreed that if we each person would continue to be friendly, like her, that soon everyone around us will become more friendly. All it takes is one person, who is willing to Pass it Forward can and will make a difference for someone else.

For example, Connie just found out about a co-worker that was in the hospital and went to visit him. (we’ll call him Brent) It turns out that Brent has prostate cancer and was not given long to live about two months.. Connie asked, Brent what would help him be more comfortable? Brent said “An X-Box would help him pass the time.”

Connie, went to her boss, the sales manager and asked him if the company would buy him an XBox? Her sales manager said, NO. She was stunned, by his answer. Connie thought that he was not being very compassionate and he certainly did not get it. After all, Brent has been working for the company for eight years. She pursued the matter and contacted the Head Office, and talked to someone in HR. Connie, asked if something like this could be done for Brent? The Head Office, wasn’t aware of this employee and his condition as said, absolutely YES, do it!

This simple little story an act of Branding - of Paying it Forward, tells of how a simple concern will build your presence or brand. Your customers, employees need to feel this for, in your presence. Connie’s Brand or Presence is that you feel genuinely cared for around her. For as long as I have known Connie, she truly helps her customers above and beyond her job description.

Since this article was written Brent got married to his long time girlfriend and very recently past way. Our condolences to his family.